Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Marketing small packages with big price tags

Yesterday I was feeling like I had been taken for a ride after forking over $13.39 for  1/2 fluid ounce (14mL) of touch up paint for our car ($12.48 plus $.91 tax).  That equates to $1,597.44 per gallon.  The marketing folks with Toyota gave the color a valuable sounding name, "Barcelona Red Metallic". Sadly when I checked the little cylinder containing this high priced paint it was simply labeled 3R3.  How exciting is that?

The paint, however, felt like a steal after examining a recent hospital bill. I had been  to the ER for a few stitches needed by an eye. The bill included $86.20 for a one gram tube of Erythromycin.  This tiny tube of ointment was prescribed to reduce the likelihood of infection.

I'm thinking that for the hospital to charge such an exorbitant fee they ought to at least consider giving this ointment a fancier name.  How about...
  • Euphorically Enriching Erythromycin? (enriching the pharmaceutical companies), 
  • Sinfully Soothing Erythromycin? (sinfully priced), or
  • Golden Touch Erythromycin? (priced more per gram than gold, currently trading at $53.17 per gram)
Anyone in need of a good deal on some eye ointment? I've still got some left over. For a mere $40 I would be willing to part with 1/2 gram of the Everlasting Elixir Erythromycin ;-)

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